o9 Solutions is a tech Unicorn in the Integrated Business Planning Software space. o9 is a provider of a premier AI platform, powering digital transformations of integrated planning and operations at global companies. Below is a brief from recent interaction between team IT-Voice and Siddhartha Niyogi, Managing Director, o9 Solutions India
Prateek: How was the year 2021 for o9 Solutions?
Siddhartha Niyogi: In 2021, we realized over 400% growth in our last quarter (Q4) in annual recurring revenue (ARR) on year-on-year basis. On a yearly basis, o9 Solutions’ ARR grew more than threefold in 2021 compared to 2020. This was encouraging for us and our stakeholders, especially at a time when the overall environment was quite volatile and uncertain for businesses globally, due to the pandemic.
Prateek: What strategies did the organization adopt to attract new customers and expand in uncertain times imposed by the pandemic?
Siddhartha Niyogi: During the last two years, the expansion in our customer base can be partly attributed to the disruption caused by the pandemic, which compelled enterprises to reassess and firm up their supply chain operations, strategy, and planning. These uncertain times were the driving force behind the accelerated adoption of technology and digital transformation. As supply chains were adversely affected, accompanied by software renewal cycles, our platform was better placed in terms of features and functionalities to handle the varied challenges and scenarios posed by the pandemic.
Moreover, our workforce was able to support this growth. As an organization, we were poised for these vicissitudes in business landscape as we were already operating on a hybrid working model with flexible timings for our people. Hence, there was a smooth transition to a full remote-working model for all aspects of business, including hiring, project implementations, collaboration, and more. As a SaaS company, we used technology to our advantage, leveraging virtual collaboration tools and platforms and building processes for information sharing.
Prateek: How is o9 solutions supporting the global growth from India?
Siddhartha Niyogi: Of our total workforce of 1600 people globally, o9 Solutions has around 1000 professionals based in India. Since our Chief Architect and almost the entire Research and Development (R&D) team are based out of India, our software development and engineering efforts are driven locally. In addition, a sizeable portion of our consulting and customer success operations are delivered through our centres of excellence (CoE) in India.
Prateek: What will be the future plans for the coming year?
Siddhartha Niyogi: At present, our strategy is to consolidate our growth in the core areas of Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Integrated Business Planning (IBP), while continuing to expand in the emerging areas of revenue management, and procurement. In addition, we would like to focus on sustainable supply chains and further build on the concept of the Digital Brain, which is a unique value proposition of o9 Solutions.
We are organizing aim10X Global from April 5 to April 7, 2022, our largest premier digital transformation event to date, which will witness participation from thought leaders from across industries as they engage in discussions on how to digitally transform planning and decision making. Al Gore, the former US Vice President, will be a keynote speaker at this event. I am sure this landmark event will set the stage for some interesting and insightful conversations, thereby shaping our future plans.
Prateek: Please share some details about o9’s employee focused initiatives.
Siddhartha Niyogi: Our people are at the centre of everything we do. Whether it is learning and development through access to some of the best learning content available through platforms such as Coursera, LinkedIn, and our Learning Management System (LMS) or ensuring employee well- being through a health and wellness app, all our initiatives are centred on our employees.
We conduct employee engagement activities, and rewards and recognition (R&R) programs throughout the year. In addition, we keep our people engaged through book club, art sessions, CSR activities, and talks from industry experts, just to name a few.
During the global pandemic, we set up war rooms to assist our employees in case of health emergencies. We also provided oxygen concentrators and sponsored Covid vaccination drives and test kits, in addition to a one-time work-from-home allowance for our employees.
As we always had a hybrid working mode, we quickly moved to a full remote working model as soon as the pandemic struck to ensure the health and safety of our employees. Interestingly, we managed to triple our headcount during the pandemic. Post pandemic, we will continue to have a flexible and hybrid approach to work for our employees.
Prateek: How does o9 fit the bill of a digital brain for their customers?
Siddhartha Niyogi: The Digital Brain is powered by our patented Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG), enabling enterprises to cut through the clutter of information, manage myriad planning process and harness the power of data to build sound decision-making capabilities for the digital age of volatility and complexity. o9’s Digital Brain offers next-generation Integrated Business Planning (IBP) capabilities to enterprises. The inspiration for our Digital Brain is the human brain.